Possiblity of Wine being Sold in Tennessee Grocery Stores

By: Courtney Brice

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop)- Tennessean’s have been long awaiting the ability to buy wine in grocery stores, and their wait may come to an end if a bill is passed.

Tennessean's are wondering, "Where's the Wine?"  Photo from the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Tennessean’s are wondering, “Where’s the Wine?”
Photo credit: Chattanooga Times Free Press

“The bill, sponsored by Sen. Bill Ketron and Rep. Jon Lundberg, would allow cities and counties to hold referendums on whether to allow wine to be sold in supermarkets and convenience stores,” according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Several Tennessee residents have been wanting wine to be sold in grocery stores for a while. Chattanooga resident Merrile Stroud exclaimed, “I would love it!”

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, “Present Tennessee law limits wine sales to package stores, where liquor is sold. Beer is sold only at grocery and convenience stores.”

Thirty-three states currently allow wine sales in grocery stores, including Georgia.  Stroud explained that by allowing this bill to be passed, “it would create revenue for Tennessee because many Chattanoogan’s go to Fort Oglethorpe, GA  because they can buy wine at Costco.”

Former grocery store manager and Chattanooga resident Cameron  Wallace, explained that, “Selling wine would be okay because stores already allow beer, so as long as it isn’t hard liquor then it would be perfectly acceptable.”

memphisdailynews

The decision is still being made whether wine will be sold in Tennessee grocery stores. Photo credit: Memphis Daily News

“Opponents say the change would adversely affect the about 600 existing liquor stores around the state. They also raise concerns about higher-proof alcohol becoming more widely available to minors,” according to the Associated Press.

The concern of carding customers has risen although grocery stores already card for beer sales. Wallace explains that the addition of wine should not be a problem in causing an increase of underage drinking because, “if they really want it, they will get it regardless.”

Although the bill is still being debated, many Tennessean’s are crossing their fingers that it will be passed.

 

UTC Teacher Fights to Protect TN Mountains

By Christina Stafford

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) - One UTC teacher’s passion for protecting Tennessee mountains and valleys has helped keep the issue in front of the public.

Jeannie Hacker-Cerulean has been an advocate to help stop the removal of mountain tops for coal mining since 2004.  “I care about the water and I want to protect the clean water cycle,” she said. “When I heard the about mountain top removal and how it pollutes the water with heavy metals, I decided to become a mountain justice worker,” the UTC faculty member said.

Cerulean and others who work for an end to mountain top removal have been to Nashville to lobby the State Senate. “I am personal correspondents with some of the senators,” Cerulean said. She said she makes mailing labels to give out to people to write the senators to express what they think about the issue. She said she also puts posters up with the labels on them all around the Chattanooga area to raise awareness.

“Mrs. Cerulean brought a student advocate from MTSU to talk about the mining to my advocacy and debate class she teaches.” Alyssah Martin, Soddy Daisy junior, said. “The whole class could tell this is something she is truly passionate about.”

College students can get involved in the cause to end mountain top removal. “Universities in Tennessee, including UTC’s EDGE (Ecological Decisions for a Global Environment) group, are getting involved and contribute greatly to the cause,” Cerulean said.

Students have protested by sitting in trees to stop them from being cut down and cleaning tree sitting as well as helping to clean up the communities that are affected by coal mining.  Students are also involved by talking about the issue in their schools and hometowns, Cerulean said.

Some students believe it is a worthy cause. “It’s good to know there are opportunities out there for college students to take action on something so important,” Tiffany Reed, Cookeville sophomore, said.

If passed, the Tennessee Scenic Vistas Protection bill will end mountain top removal of ridges over 2000 feet in Tennessee, Cerulean said. She said she thinks state senators are listening about the issue.

More than 1,000 mountains have been destroyed since the 1970s in Appalachian Mountains states. These mountains are being targeted for coal mining that results in more job opportunities in small communities “Though the new jobs in the communities are a great thing, people’s health and the environment are at risk,” Cerulean said.

The stream buffer zone rule was set in 1983. This rule says that coal-mining companies cannot operate within 100 feet of streams. “Mining companies still dump the waste in streams,” Cerulean said.

In 2009, a new buffer zone rule was set in motion requiring mining companies to not dump the waste in the valleys, Cerulean said.

Stolen dump truck eludes police for 50 miles

STOW, Ohio (AP/UTC) — Police in Ohio say a 50-mile pursuit of a stolen dump truck had officers dodging bricks hurled from its window and dodging the truck itself when it suddenly went into reverse.

Police cruiser video shows the truck striking police cars and several civilian vehicles during Saturday’s chase through parts of three northeast Ohio counties.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports authorities have charged a 17-year-old suspect with multiple juvenile court charges including felonious assault with a weapon — namely, the truck.

The pursuit began after the truck was reported stolen in Stow, about 25 miles southeast of Cleveland.

Stow Police Chief Louis Dirker Jr. says one of his cruisers was totaled and two others were damaged. Two officers were treated for bumps.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

Rescued Chilean Miner to Visit Graceland

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — For rescued Chilean miner Edison Pena, New York comes first. Next are Graceland and Las Vegas.

Pena is set to arrive in New York on Thursday to attend Sunday’s New York City Marathon after officials invited him. Word is the triathlete wants to run it.

The 34-year-old Pena’s trip to New York also will include a scheduled appearance on the “Late Show with David Letterman” on Thursday evening.

But the star treatment won’t end there.

On Wednesday, Elvis Presley Enterprises said Pena accepted an invitation to Graceland, set for Jan. 6 to Jan. 9, which coincides with the anniversary of Elvis’s birthday on Jan. 8, 1935. Pena will get a private tour of the mansion and Elvis’ grave, and will visit the exhibits across the street.

After that, he will be flown to Las Vegas to watch “Viva Elvis,” the Cirque du Soleil show based on Elvis’ music.

Pena is an Elvis fan who reportedly jogged to his music and conducted sing-alongs while trapped underground for 69 days with 32 fellow miners in Chile. Their saga and rescue last month earned worldwide attention.

When Elvis Presley Enterprises heard Pena was a fan, it sent various gifts to Chile, including a picture, DVDs, CDs, a book and sunglasses. “Viva Las Vegas” and “Jailhouse Rock,” were among the movies.

Both the Las Vegas and Graceland trips are on the house, with the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and Delta Airlines helping with the tab. The visit to Memphis will include a stay at The Peabody Hotel and the chance to try Memphis’ famous barbecue.

Titans claim WR Randy Moss off waivers

By Jonathan Higdon
Jonathan-Higdon@mocs.utc.edu

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UTC/AP) — The Tennessee Titans passed on wide receiver Randy Moss once before, back in the 1998 draft.

Not again.

The Titans claimed Moss off the waiver wire Wednesday, choosing not to take any risks with receiver Kenny Britt missing at least one game with an injured right hamstring.

Tennessee, then the Oilers, drafted Kevin Dyson with the 16th pick overall in 1998. They passed on Moss and said then it was because of concerns about his character. Coach Jeff Fisher, speaking three hours before Wednesday’s waiver deadline, said the personnel department decided Dyson was a better fit.

“Randy has had a terrific career. He’s a Hall of Fame receiver. You don’t always make the right decision,” Fisher said. “The draft is an imperfect science. We’ve had No. 1′s that haven’t panned out for us before.”

Now the Titans are 5-3, a half-game back in the AFC South with five divisional games remaining down the stretch. Fisher said in a statement after the Titans were awarded Moss that the receiver offered an opportunity to upgrade their offense.

“Randy has been a tremendous threat where ever he has been,” Fisher said. “We will bring him up to speed as quickly as possible.”

Moss can help a team that has not won a playoff game since January 2004, and Fisher said Britt, who hurt his right hamstring in last week’s 33-25 loss to San Diego, will miss the Titans’ game Nov. 14 at Miami.

How quickly Moss joins the Titans remains to be seen. The Titans are on their bye and hold their last practice Thursday before breaking for the weekend. Players won’t be due back until Tuesday, but agent Joel Segal said Moss will be heading to Tennessee.

“Randy’s excited to get back playing football,” Segal said. “He’s ready to go and looking forward to get there.”

The receiver going to his third team this season already is being welcomed. Safety Michael Griffin tweeted “welcome Randy Moss” and All Pro running back Chris Johnson had been lobbying for the Titans to pick up Moss as well. Johnson shares the same agent as Moss and had been telling Segal how much he wanted the receiver in Tennessee.

“Why do we need Randy Moss?” Johnson said Wednesday, before the move was announced. “You can’t put eight in a box if you got Randy Moss out there on the outside. If you’ve got Randy Moss out there, you just can’t play him one-on-one. I feel like Randy would be a great addition to this team, be a great addition to our receiving group and really help us go deep in the playoffs.”

That’s what matters most for the Titans.

Owner Bud Adams turns 88 in January, and this franchise’s lone Super Bowl berth was way back in 2000. The Titans lost a wild-card playoff game in San Diego in the 2007 season and wasted the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage in 2008 with a divisional round loss.

Britt has the NFL’s best game receiving this season with his 225 yards and three touchdowns Oct. 24, and Vince Young currently is the NFL’s top rated passer at 103.1. But the Tennessee passing offense ranks 24th, averaging 187.6 yards per game.

“Randy is obviously a Hall of Fame player and has the ability to be a difference maker for our offense,” Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt said.

Moss is a relative bargain due about $3.39 million for the final eight games this season. He easily brings the best resume of any receiver for this team since leaving Houston. He has 948 career receptions for 14,778 yards and 153 touchdowns, though his numbers have dipped drastically this season in his stints first with New England and then Minnesota.

He has 22 catches for 313 yards and five TDs in eight games. In his four games with Minnesota, he had 13 catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns with the Vikings losing three of those four games to drop to 2-5.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

West Tennessee Post Office Shooting Leaves Two Dead

By Molly Farrell

molly-farrell@utc.edu

HENNING, Tenn. (AP/UTC) — Two gunmen opened fire Monday at a post office in a rural West Tennessee town that was home to “Roots” author Alex Haley, killing two workers during what a survivor and authorities described as an attempted robbery.

The shooting happened Monday morning at the post office in Henning, the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department said. Officers were searching for a maroon Chevrolet Malibu with two men inside, and no arrests have been made.

District Attorney Mike Dunavant said the case involved “disturbing violence” but did not elaborate.

The post office, which sits between a self-service car wash and a coin-operated laundry called “Mom’s” in this town of about 1,200 people, often has residents coming in to pick up their mail. Home delivery isn’t provided in Henning, some 45 miles northeast of Memphis.

Beth Barnett, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service, said that five people usually work in the post office but that she was not sure how many were there at the time of the attack.

Mary Hammock, who works at a nearby market, said Monday afternoon that she had been in the post office about 8:25 a.m. and noticed it was not as loud or busy as normal.

“I knew something didn’t feel right because it was real quiet,” she said. She returned to the market and heard police sirens about 15 minutes later.

“I might have been real close probably to losing my life,” she said.

Around midday, plainclothes investigators were scanning the area along a railroad track that sits behind the post office. Lines of yellow police tape kept people away from the building as a crowd gathered nearby, some sitting in chairs, waiting for more information about what happened.

Crime scene investigation trucks were parked outside, including one from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Ella Holloway, who lives within walking distance of the post office, said she knew one of the women killed. Holloway said she would be greeted by the woman’s smile when she went to the post office to buy stamps.

“She was a real nice person,” Holloway said.

Tony Burns, a state employee at the Tennessee Capitol in Nashville, said his sister-in-law is a postal service worker who was assigned to the Henning office Monday. She told him that the shooting happened during a robbery attempt, but that she escaped unharmed. The sheriff’s department also said earlier in the day that the incident may have been a robbery.

Standing on a street corner near the post office, city resident Emmitt Hennings, a 71-year-old retiree, said it was hard to comprehend what happened.

“I just couldn’t believe it, not in this town,” Hennings said. “It’s too quiet.”

Postal officials offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

The post office is less than a half-mile away from the museum dedicated to the “Roots” author Haley, who died in 1992. The 1976 book won a Pulitzer Prize and was the basis for a top-rated TV series. The story chronicled his family history from Africa to slavery and freedom in the U.S., and it inspired many people to research their own families’ roots.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

2 workers killed in Tenn. post office shooting

HENNING, Tenn. (AP/The Loop) — Two gunmen opened fire Monday at a post office in a rural West Tennessee town that was home to “Roots” author Alex Haley, killing two workers during what a survivor and authorities described as an attempted robbery.

The shooting happened Monday morning at the post office in Henning, the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department said. Officers were searching for a maroon Chevrolet Malibu with two men inside, and no arrests have been made.

District Attorney Mike Dunavant said the case involved “disturbing violence” but did not elaborate.

The post office, which sits between a self-service car wash and a coin-operated laundry called “Mom’s” in this town of about 1,200 people, often has residents coming in to pick up their mail. Home delivery isn’t provided in Henning, some 45 miles northeast of Memphis.

Beth Barnett, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service, said that five people usually work in the post office but that she was not sure how many were there at the time of the attack.

Mary Hammock, who works at a nearby market, said Monday afternoon that she had been in the post office about 8:25 a.m. and noticed it was not as loud or busy as normal.

“I knew something didn’t feel right because it was real quiet,” she said. She returned to the market and heard police sirens about 15 minutes later.

“I might have been real close probably to losing my life,” she said.

Around midday, plainclothes investigators were scanning the area along a railroad track that sits behind the post office. Lines of yellow police tape kept people away from the building as a crowd gathered nearby, some sitting in chairs, waiting for more information about what happened.

Crime scene investigation trucks were parked outside, including one from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Ella Holloway, who lives within walking distance of the post office, said she knew one of the women killed. Holloway said she would be greeted by the woman’s smile when she went to the post office to buy stamps.

“She was a real nice person,” Holloway said.

Tony Burns, a state employee at the Tennessee Capitol in Nashville, said his sister-in-law is a postal service worker who was assigned to the Henning office Monday. She told him that the shooting happened during a robbery attempt, but that she escaped unharmed. The sheriff’s department also said earlier in the day that the incident may have been a robbery.

Standing on a street corner near the post office, city resident Emmitt Hennings, a 71-year-old retiree, said it was hard to comprehend what happened.

“I just couldn’t believe it, not in this town,” Hennings said. “It’s too quiet.”

Postal officials offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

The post office is less than a half-mile away from the museum dedicated to the “Roots” author Haley, who died in 1992. The 1976 book won a Pulitzer Prize and was the basis for a top-rated TV series. The story chronicled his family history from Africa to slavery and freedom in the U.S., and it inspired many people to research their own families’ roots.

___

Associated Press writer Lucas L. Johnson II in Nashville contributed to this report.

New Report Finds Campus Crime on the Rise

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Crime is increasing on Tennessee’s college campuses for the first time in five years.

According to a report released Wednesday by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the number of offenses reported last year increased by just over 9 percent, although violent crime was down by 6.4 percent. The single greatest increase was in shoplifting, which jumped 700 percent between 2008 and 2009. Fraud increased by 75 percent and drug violations increased by 16 percent.

Officials at colleges and universities reporting the largest number of offenses were asked why they thought crime had increased. Responses varied but included the fact that college enrollment had increased 10 percent, likely the result of people trying to improve their skills in a tight job market. Larceny and theft made up the majority of offenses last year at 38.5 percent.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) AP-NY-03-31-10 1247EDT

March Madness Starts Off With a Bang

By: Carson O’Shoney

(UTC/The Loop)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — While Chattanoogans didn’t have a team to cheer for after the UTC Mocs missed the cut, college basketball fans were left completely satisfied with the opening weekend of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. The Mocs were part of the madness last year after earning the #16 seed in the West, but their big dance ended shortly after the #1 seed UConn knocked them out in the first round. This time around, the only University of Tennessee school in the tournament is the main one in Knoxville.

Scotty Hopson celebrates a dunk against Ohio[/caption]

Fans of the Volunteers have had plenty to cheer about this tourney. The #6 seeded Vols handled their first round opponent, San Diego State, who were a popular upset pick. Earlier in the day, they were given an unexpected gift — the #14 seed Ohio pulled off an improbable upset over the #3 seed Georgetown. Two days later, the Vols took care of the Ohio Bobcats and easily entered the Sweet Sixteen, where they’ll take on the #2 seed Ohio State. “They got lucky getting to play Ohio,” said UTC student Roland Chapman. “I hope they go further.” Xan Gwaltney added, “I can definitely see them going to the final four.”

Check out the 2010 NCAA Tournament Bracket here.

Ohio over Georgetown wasn’t the only upset in the first couple rounds — there were upsets left and right this weekend. #10 seed St. Mary’s took down popular final four team Villanova in the second round. Ivy League school Cornell, a #12 seed, got it’s first two tournament wins ever this weekend as they took down #5 Temple and #4 Wisconsin on their way to the Sweet 16. #11 Washington easily moved past #6 Marquette and #3 New Mexico. Even the mighty Kansas, who was the runaway favorite to win the National Championship, fell to up and coming Northern Iowa thanks in large part to the clutch shooting of guard Ali Farokhmanesh and his dagger of a three with just over 30 seconds left.

Jordan Eglseder

Jordan Eglseder

Even aside from the upsets, the first two rounds were exciting due to the amount of games that were decided at the buzzer, by a small margin, and in overtime. By the end of the day there had been more games go into overtime than the entire tournament last season. The very first game of the tournament, Florida vs BYU, went into two overtimes. Murray St. knocked off the #4 seed Vanderbilt by knocking down a last second three pointer. The end of the Maryland vs Michigan St game had three lead changes in the final 20 seconds, ending with a game winning three by Korie Lucious. The list goes on and on.

Check out all of UTC student Xan Gwaltney’s thoughts on the first two rounds here:

All in all, this was a hell of a way to start a tournament. And if the next rounds are anything like these, basketball fans are in for a huge treat.

Sleepless States

ATLANTA (AP/The Loop) — Sleepless in Seattle? Hardly. West Virginia is where people are really staying awake, according to the first government study to monitor state-by-state differences in sleeplessness.Tips on getting a good nights rest.

West Virginians’ lack of sleep was about double the national rate, perhaps a side effect of health problems such as obesity, experts said.

Nearly 1 in 5 West Virginians said they did not get a single good night’s sleep in the previous month. The national average was about 1 in 10, according to a federal health survey conducted last year and released Thursday.

Tennessee, Kentucky and Oklahoma also were notably above average in their reported lack of sleep. In contrast, North Dakota had fewer problems sleeping, with only 1 in 13 reporting that degree of sleeplessness.

Health officials do not know the exact reasons for the differences.

“We didn’t ask ‘Why didn’t you get enough rest or sleep?’” said Lela McKnight-Eily, an epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who led the study.

But experts noted several possible explanations: West Virginia ranks at or near the bottom of the nation in several important measurements of health, including obesity, smoking, heart disease and the proportion of adults with disabilities. Studies have increasingly found sleeping problems in people with certain health problems, including obesity.

“You would expect to see poorer sleep within a chronically diseased population,” noted Darrel Drobnich of the National Sleep Foundation, a nonprofit advocacy and research organization.

Some experts believe sleep-deprived people are more inclined to eat fatty foods during the day.

“There’s growing evidence sleep deprivation promotes obesity,” said Dr. Ronald Chervin, a University of Michigan sleep disorders expert.

Financial stress and odd-hour work shifts can play roles in sleeplessness, too, Chervin added. He suggested those may be contributing factors in West Virginia, an economically depressed state with tens of thousands of people working in coal mining.

Thursday’s report was based on results of an annual telephone survey of more than 400,000 Americans, including at least 3,900 in each state. The survey did not include people who use only cell phones.

The results mirrored earlier studies that found women are more likely to have sleeping problems than men, and blacks are more likely than white or Hispanics to get less sleep.

The survey did not ask people how many hours of sleep they got, and different respondents may have had different views of what counted for a good night’s sleep. Sleep experts recommend seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

If you’re wondering about Seattle — scene of the Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan film “Sleepless in Seattle” — the report did not provide information on cities. But the state of Washington had slightly fewer sleep-deprived people than the average state as reflected by the percent of residents reporting a solid month of sleeplessness.

New York and California — two states with large, stressed-out cities — were also a little better than average.

The survey also asked people the opposite question: Did you get enough sleep every single night for the last month? Hawaii racked up the most zzz’s, with nearly 36 percent saying they were fully rested every day. The national average was about 31 percent. Do you want to sleep like people in Hawaii here are some tips.

In every state, most people reported a mix of nights when they got enough sleep and nights they did not.

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On the Net:

CDC report: http://tinyurl.com/sleep-states